blog header

Places to Stop While Driving to Cambria from Los Angeles

When you’re heading out on a road trip to Cambria, the adventure starts the minute you leave! If you’re driving north from the LA area, there are a host of gorgeous sights and sweet stops to enjoy all along the Central Coast. Check out our picks below, and prepare to get the most out of your coastside cruise.

Whale Trail Spots Along the Way

blog whales

If you’re excited about an aquatic adventure along the California coastline, you don’t have to wait until you’ve arrived in Cambria to kick it off. The California Whale Trail org has stops picked out along the way where you can pause to catch sight of those majestic ocean giants. The organization’s website features an interactive map of their suggested spots, and provides tips on viewing the marine mammals. Pause your trek in places like San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay to see if you can spot a whale tail.

Pismo State Beach

blog pismo

All those quick oceanside stops are fun enough, but you know you need to make additional time to take in the coastal City of Pismo Beach. Its perfect sandy hotspots complement the moonstone-laden, memorable beaches you’ll experience in Cambria. This makes for a great primer for the oceanside fun you’re headed for. Plus, you can take advantage of all the outdoor activities Pismo Beach is known for, like surfing, swimming, fishing, and bird watching.

Avila Beach

blog avila

Another beachside stop to build your anticipation for Cambria is Avila Beach, just a few miles west of Pismo. This lowkey complement to Pismo hosts several of its own unique attractions. Stop to relax in Avila Hot Springs, which offers campsites and cabins. Avila also features the Central Coast Aquarium, a fun excursion that’s an ideal visit if you’re traveling together with the family and kids. And of course, no trip to Avila is complete without at least taking in the view at Avila Beach Pier, if not spreading a towel and enjoying a beachhead preserved by the perfect microclimate. Be sure to look below for hammocks underneath the pier, where you can catch a nap between driving sessions.

Morro Rock

blog morro

During that drive, you might’ve caught site of Morro Rock, as it’s visible from multiple vantage points along Highway 1. A road trip tour like this gives you the chance to park and see the volcanic monument up close and personally for yourself. At 576 feet tall, the rock is a breathtaking sight to behold, well worth taking a moment out of your trip to appreciate. If you’re looking to learn more, there are nearby museums, including one of natural history, and a maritime museum.


blog harmony

As you get closer to Cambria, make a little time for a stop-off to experience the unique, small-town charm of Harmony, an inland cove right off Highway 1 that’s home to a population of just 18 people. You can taste some of the best ice cream on the Central Coast at Harmony Valley Creamery. Don’t forget to sample signature varietals at Harmony Cellars—with that venue’s regular live music performances, this tiny town promises big fun!

Moonstone Beach

blog moonstone

Past Harmony, you’ll finally roll into Cambria, where you can cap off your oceanside road trip with an arrival in a magical town on the West Coast. Moonstone Beach makes for an incredible sight to arrive at, especially if you get here late in the day, just as one of our famous gorgeous sunsets drapes the horizon. Take some time to decompress from your drive with a stroll along the boardwalk, or if food is your language, indulge in a dinner by the sea at Moonstone Beach Bar & Grill.

Check In to Your Lodging

blog lodging 2

All of these stops on your way to Cambria were just the prelude. Check into any of the boutique lodging options available, browse our itineraries for the perfect lineup of things to do, and settle in—your adventure in Cambria is just getting started!

Scroll to Top